What We are Reading – September 2019

Our Academic Technology group roams the Internet (and Libraries) looking for interesting reads.  Here are a few works that caught our eye this month.  

Active Learning: Feelings versus Learning

Swarthmore has a community of educators using active learning techniques.  The Academic Technology team has been collaborating with faculty to provide learning spaces and technology to support their teaching needs.  For the last few months, we’ve been spending time learning about how to best use the new Singer Hall Flexible Classroom. A recent article investigating discrepancies between how students feel about active learning versus how much they actually learn highlighted one of the challenges of switching from lecture-style teaching.  

Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom

Louis Deslauriers, Logan S. McCarty, Kelly Miller, Kristina Callaghan, Greg Kestin, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2019, 201821936; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1821936116


Ashley Turner Featured in Technically Philly

As an Academic Technologist at Swarthmore, Ashley has worked with many of you on a variety of topics including Active Learning, the Teaching with Tablets program, blended learning, WordPress, and Moodle support.  In addition to her work at Swarthmore, Ashley is deeply involved with the Philadelphia tech scene. Read more about Ashley’s work with Philly Tech Sistas, her career advice, and more in a recent Technically Philly article. 

Philly Tech Sistas’ Ashley Turner on why ‘you cannot go at your career alone’


Electronic grading

Each semester we see an increasing number of faculty interested in grading assignments electronically.  Here are a selection of products that we’re investigating.

GradeScope: More efficient grading of paper-based assignments and tests.  Scan in paper and grade online.  

GoReactProvide feedback and grade video assignments.

Google AssignmentsCollect and grade Google Docs.

If any of these products are interesting, let us know.  You may also be interested in tools we have today.

Moodle has built-in grading and annotation tools as part of the Assignment activity.

Turnitin is best known for plagiarism detection, but it also has a pretty good grading interface for Moodle assignments that can be used to give feedback via a comment bank, freeform text, and even audio recording.  

Get in Touch

We’d love to talk with you about any of these topics.  Get in touch with your Academic Technologist to start the conversion.